Abstract

More and more start-ups are founded by teams rather than by single individuals (e.g., West 2007) and entrepreneurial teams are on average more successful than single entrepreneurs (Lechler 2001). Thus, the success of a start-up seems to be somehow dependent on the entrepreneurial team and we have to ask: what makes teams successful?

A growing body of research supports the notion that deep-level composition variables such as personality traits are an important determinant of team performance (Stewart 2006). However, the vast majority of this research focuses on broad trait taxonomies, such as the five-factor model of personality (Costa and McCrae 1992). Research within the field of entrepreneurship in turn has put more emphasis on specific traits (Baum and Locke 2004) but focused mostly on the level of the single entrepreneur.

This paper tries to fill the remaining research gap by analyzing the relationship between specific personality traits and venture success on the team-level. It seeks to determine whether the same traits that predict entrepreneurial success on the individual level hold true for the team level and to what extent this relationship is being moderated by team processes.

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